Saina Nehwal has been troubled with injuries of late, which led to her misssing the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in January. Now, Saina has also withdrawn from the ongoing Thailand Masters due to an injury.
Saina was the favourite to win the title, with the Indian in line for a dream final against Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon. However, an Achilles injury has put paid to those hopes, according to the Bangkok Post, leaving the path clear for second seed Intanon to win the title in front of her home fans.
Saina needs to be careful with injuries as it is a big year for all shuttlers around the world, with the Rio Olympics set to take place in August. India have huge hopes from Saina to bring home a gold medal and for that she has to be fully fit.
On the other hand, she cannot afford to skip a number of tournaments in the build up to the Olympics as the qualification for the Olympics depend on the world rankings. Though the shuttler is presently ranked No. 2, her lack of participation in major events could push that ranking down.
Saina needs to keep her focus on some major competitions coming up in the badminton circuit.
The Badminton Asia Team Championships in February and the All England Open in March are two of those, and Saina is expected to feature in them.
The 25-year-old's biggest test will lie in the All England Championships, where a number of top shuttlers are set to battle it out for the first Superseries title of the year.